Jarl CD – Hyperacusis CD Zoharum 2021
The long-standing project of Eric Jarl sees a continuation of his sonic explorations within experimental industrial and dark ambient spheres. The subsequent result is the generation of gloomy yet animated soundscapes where the tonality of the organic and the clinical merge and intertwine. Given the instrumental focus of Jarl’s recordings, there is an immediately recognisable amorphous approach to composition and sound construction. This means that rather than the broader sound and approach significantly changing between albums the devil is in the sonic detail.
With reference to this new album’s title, it refers to a medical condition of a reduced tolerance to sound, which can be caused by aging or exposure to loud noise, while 50% of cases are also noted in combination with a psychiatric disorder. Obviously, this amounts to an extremely suitable theme context to frame the album. So while on face value the tone is quite minimal, the sonics are extremely active and varied, ranging from pulsing clinical tones and other elements which seem rooted in organic generated sources. Likewise, apart from its outwardly apparent minimalism, the two lengthy soundscapes are extremely detailed and active, building to sonic peaks based on shrill and invasive drones. The widescreen sonic production functions to highlight each of the multiple tonal elements, which are cleanly and clearly separated, while a broader ebb and flow technique and vaguely rhymical undercurrent drive the pieces forwards.
Although by now most should be well versed in the general sonic world of Jarl, Hyperacusis is a further exploration and refinement of that approach and illustrates how expertly crafted Jarl material is. As such. the sound waveform illustrations which adorn the cover of the six-panel digipack is a clever yet simple visualisation of the sonics found herein.